The Stone Tape (1972)

The Stone Tape is a television play directed by Peter Sasdy and starring Michael Bryant, Jane Asher, Michael Bates and Iain Cuthbertson. It was broadcast on BBC Two as a Christmas ghost story in 1972. Combining aspects of science fiction and horror, the story concerns a team of scientists who move into their new research facility, a renovated Victorian mansion that has a reputation for being haunted. The team investigate the phenomena, trying to determine if the stones of the building are acting as a recording medium for past events. However, their investigations serve only to unleash a darker, more malevolent force. The Stone Tape was written by Nigel Kneale, best known as the writer of Quatermass. Its juxtaposition of science and superstition is a frequent theme in Kneale's work; in particular, his 1952 radio play You Must Listen, about a haunted telephone line, is a notable antecedent of The Stone Tape. The play was also inspired by a visit Kneale had paid to the BBC's research and development department, which is located in an old Victorian house in Kingswood, Surrey. Critically acclaimed at time of broadcast, it remains well regarded to this day as one of Nigel Kneale's best and most terrifying plays. Since its broadcast, the hypothesis of residual haunting – that ghosts are recordings of past events made by the natural environment – has come to be known as the "Stone Tape Theory".

  • Release Date: 1972-12-25
  • Country: GB
  • Language: En
  • Runtime: 90